Hockey Hits, Arena Rock Hits, and the Cha Cha

A little insight into how I develop these posts: I see or hear something that makes me go “Huh?” Then I do some research and write. This past week, two things struck me and I had to decide which to write about – hearing the Cha Cha slide played at a hockey game or seeing a Silver Alert on the Garden State Parkway four days in a row. I intended to write about the Silver Alert and why the increase in senile drivers scares the bejesus out of me. But while watching the playoffs last night, I heard the Cha Cha again and decided it couldn’t go unaddressed.

I am a huge hockey fan. I’m a Flyers fan, but I’ll watch any game that’s on. Ask my wife. There’s something about hockey, the sport, the players, fans and coaches that is nonpareil. Hockey players are the most passionate, hardworking and loyal group. When I see a football player sit out a few games with turf toe, I wonder to myself, what would a hockey player do? (I do think football is tough…but)

I’ll tell you what a hockey player would do. A puck once hit Eric Dejardins, a long-time Flyer, in the mouth at practice and he lost most of his front teeth. He had them replaced and played in their game the next day. In a game, a puck hit Flyer Jeremy Roenick in the jaw, breaking it to pieces. His jaw was wired shut for a few months, after that he played with a huge facemask.  Then, in his first game without the facemask, he dropped his gloves and fought someone. There aren’t many other sports where players sacrifice themselves for their teams so much.

Now, when I or other fans watch these games, we become equally passionate. The crowd’s behavior ebbs and flows with the play of their team. It’s rough and tumble. It’s emotional. So in between play you’d expect the DJs to choose music that fits the sport. Most of the time, they do. Just last night I heard I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll, Come on Feel the Noise, Rockin’ in the USA, Crazy Train and many other classic arena rock hits. These songs fit. They pump you up. Twice now, though, I’ve heard the Cha Cha Slide. Like it or hate it, doesn’t matter right now, though I personally don’t care for it. But should it be played at a hockey game? No!

I know, I know, there is a lyric in the song that says, “now clap your hands” and the arena DJ thinks playing that will get the fans to react. I’ve watched the fans. You know what they do? They scream. They wave their towels. They don’t clap their hands to the beat. No one does, except maybe the little kid who doesn’t know any better.

Remember the Sesame Street™ song One of these Things is NOT like the Other. When the DJ looks at his or her play list, they should make the connection and then drop the silly song. The song doesn’t do anything for motivation or momentum. It’s a ridiculously slow song. Actually, it’s not even a song. It’s a set of directions with a beat. I could have done the same thing while putting together my Ikea furniture. Maybe I will.

So, hockey arena DJs, as the playoffs move on and each game’s intensity increases, pick songs that work. Unless your intention is to kill the mood and sober everyone up, stop playing the Cha Cha. Leave that to the wedding DJs. If in doubt, look at this guy

Boy I could use some Cha Cha right now.

and ask yourself, should he be listening to the Cha Cha?

About mattdevir

I live with my wife – and inspiration – in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. I have written and produced television shows for The Discovery Channel, TLC, HGTV, and Baby First Television. In addition to reading my work here, you can also find it on, Istanbul Literary Review, and Pure Slush. I have many nicknames – Benny, Baber, and Beaver being the most popular. Every now and then someone calls me Faber. Feel free to use any of those. I understand my last name is a bit tough.
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